IT Trenches

Mar 13 2009   5:38PM GMT

Who hires IT staff anyways? Was it the US CIO or some HR crew?

Troy Tate Profile: Troy Tate

Recently my fellow ITKE blogger Denny posted a rant against how IT people act in public. I know that his posting does not always apply just to IT folks. A news announcement today makes me wonder about the actions of some IT people and the way they get hired.

Per Network World on Thursday, 3/12/09:

According to a report in the Washington Post, Cisco CCNA Yusuf Acar who is currently employed as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and/or Information Systems Security Officer (ISSO) of the Government of the District of Columbia, has been busted by the FBI in a federal bribery sting. FBI agents found $70,000 in Acar’s Northwest D.C. home when they arrested him this morning.

The question Brad Reese raises and I think should be considered in this forum is “Who is hiring these people?” Yusuf had no information security certifications or credentials (e.g. CISSP or CISA) to support his position as CSO.

Why would a government agency with such high national visibility hire someone who obviously does not have the credentials required to handle the job? Did Yusuf’s former boss, Vivek Kundra, have any input into the hiring? Vivek Kundra was appointed by President Obama as the Federal Chief Informaiton Officer.  This is disturbing on many levels. One main issue I see is the hiring process.

Vivek Kundra was seen as a pretty good choice for the top US CIO position if you search many of the blog postings out there on the internet. However, now it is questionable how this individual came to be chosen by the President to head this Federal office. The same thing should be questioned about how the staff of the DC office of Chief Technology Officer chose Yusuf for the position. Did these choices happen without any IT oversight or input? Was it done by an Human Resources crew just looking for terms on resumes? I know this happens in the general public. It has reached the highest levels of government now.

What should the role of HR be in hiring technology professionals? How can the hiring process be made more effective when addressing the technical needs of an organization?

Mr. Kundra has taken a leave of absence now after the FBI raid of the Office of the Chief Technology Officer in the Government of Washington DC for the corruption case mentioned above.

Thanks for reading and let’s continue to be good network citizens — and maybe somehow get more involved in the hiring of information technology professionals.

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